Entertainment & Sports

TDMP: AFRICA’S FIRST DANCE MOVIE PREMIERES IN NEW YORK CITY

Family, friendship, 419, passion, culture, diabetes, and dance. These are the topics highlighted in Africa's first ever dance movie "TDMP"
Binta & Banky W. at the TDMP premiere in NYC
Binta & Banky W. at the TDMP premiere in NYC
I attended the premiere of the movie in New York this summer and it’s a must see! There were distinguished guests at the premiere such as Alexander “Lexx” Ore (who co-wrote and directed the film), Banky W. (who had a cameo in the movie), and representatives from companies such as Pix 11 news, the Beat 99.9 FM, Applause Africa, and GC4Women (Global Connections for Women Foundation) to name a few.

What does it take to turn a dream into reality? Basically a lot of passion, drive, hard work, and tunnel vision. These are the characteristics that brought Alexander “Lexx” Ore’s dream into fruition. TDMP is based on a true story and it took four years to complete the transition from script to screen. The film thrives by sending powerful messages to the audience. The movie is set in Lagos, Nigeria and follows the lives of two brothers, Wale and Femi, who are passionate about pursuing their dream of becoming professional dancers. The brothers would strut their stuff in well-crafted scenes in the streets of Lagos with their dance crew known as the “Legendary Five”.

Beyond dance, the film addresses some issues or circumstances that everyone can relate to such as the following:

  • Family: It explores the positive and negative experiences that families go through. Whether its sibling rivalry or the never-ending quest to meet our parents’ expectations, we can all relate to the ups and downs of a family as a social unit. More times than none, African parents want their kids to be doctors, lawyers, or even bankers. This obviously creates conflict but it’s how we rise above the conflict that matters, and the movie showcases this family dynamic.
  • Friendship: The unique friendship the “Legendary Five” have is worth mentioning. Nicknames among the group members such as “Shakespearean”, and “Solution” provide a sense of closeness and easily makes the audience fall in love with these characters. While the characters are all different, they each have something to bring to the table in relation to dance. In addition, their interaction with one another has a lot to offer in this well-timed comedy.
  • tdmp-cover419: Everyone knows that Nigerians have been viewed by the rest of the world as con artists, hence the concept of 419. I love the fact that the movie sends a positive message to youths letting them know that they can make an honest living and practicing 419 just isn’t worth it.
  • Passion: The movie encourages people to go hard for their passion and dream big. You should never put yourself in a box and assume your dream is not attainable. Fly away with your dreams, set goals, take risks, make mistakes but never give up!
  • Culture: The movie was true to the culture of Nigeria. The marketplace scenes caught my eye and I felt nostalgic because I miss Nigeria. The language, the slang, the jokes, the food, and the music bring life to Nigeria’s rich culture.
  • Diabetes: I lost a family member to diabetes a few months ago. Even though the movie touched on a topic that hit close to home, I didn’t realize how high the death rate in Nigeria is as a result of the disease. There are approximately over one million cases of diabetes in Nigeria today. The movie sheds light on the issue and encourages people to make better lifestyle choices such as eating healthy and exercising.
  • Dance: The dancers were quite impressive. As someone who is a big fan of dance movies, I must admit, I have never seen anything like this. If you love dance, you will love this movie! I’m not the best dancer out there but even I had the urge to bust a move after watching this movie.

To sum it up, this movie is amazing. I can’t think of any other way to describe the feeling I had at the end of the movie. While I was at the premiere, I noticed that there were people from all over the world and after speaking to some of them, I could tell they had each taken something special with them from the movie. That is the beauty of art, it unites and touches people in different ways. TDMP will be released in select cinemas in Nigeria starting September 9th, 2016.

To keep the conversation going on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, please use #TDMP or #TDMPTheMovie. For more information about the movie, check out the website www.tdmpthemovie.com. and you can also watch the movie on Netflix by the end of the this year.

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